Biography of Héctor Basaldúa (1895-1976)

Painter and Argentine production designer born in Pergamino (Buenos Aires) in 1895 and died in Buenos Aires on February 23, 1976. He was a painter of figures and still lifes, Illustrator and Decorator.

He made his studies of painting in the Academy Bolognini and later at the National Academy of fine arts. In 1923 he obtained in the latter the title of Professor of drawing. Shortly afterwards, the province of Buenas Aires awarded a scholarship which enabled him to travel to Europe to complete his training. During his European trip, he got in touch with the teachers of the school of Paris. In the French capital was a pupil of the French painter Charles Guerin at the Colarossi Academy. Other teachers were André Cothe and Otton Triesz. During his stay in Paris began to be interested in the scenery, whose study simultaneously with the painting.

Although chronologically might have influenced the avant-garde movements of the time, such as Cubism and Expressionism, it was more akin to Impressionist influences. His paintings were characterized by a style similar to this artistic movement and the representation of nature, landscapes, street scenes and portraits of a disfigured shape. Basaldúa trying to express their feelings through bright colors and violence in the forms. These features led many researchers to include him in the Post-Impressionist school. Characteristic of his style are paintings as villager with mandolin (1927) and street (1914). This last painting in Paris, was his most famous work, and showed what could be a still life by its plastic space, although in fact it represented a face, a mandolin and a vase as dominant forms. Although in his landscapes are Europe, as in Petit Hotel and L´Astuzie works femenile, his favorite were the poetic representations of Buenos Aires mythology.

He held his first exhibition in Paris in 1923, where he exhibited with several Argentine young artists. He returned to exhibit in 1925, this time at the Salon d'Automne. In 1928 his pictures were hung in the independent exhibition and in 1929 in the Hall of the dead natures and figures. Last year he returned to exhibit at an international exhibition, held in New York. He remained in France until 1930. Upon his return to Buenos Aires held his first solo exhibition in the friends of the art room.

In 1932, he became a set designer of the Teatro Colón, the main stage of the Buenos Aires city. Basaldúa carried out practically all the scenery of the operas and ballets that were represented in the theatre between 1932 and 1950. In 1933 he participated in the international exhibition in Pittsburgh. In 1935 he obtained the gold medal at the international exhibition of decorative arts of Paris. In 1937, after returning to Paris to participate in the international exhibition, he was awarded by the national culture Commission for her work as a designer and the Municipal Prize of painting. The National Commission of culture awarded him a grant to further their studies of scenography and theatrical technique in Germany, France and Italy. During his stay in Europe, some of his designs were selected by the national Manufactory of Sevres to decorate several pieces of porcelain.

In 1946 he travelled to United States invited by the State Department of that country, so that he could further perfecting his scenographic technique. Basaldúa was admitted in the Academy of fine arts in 1950 and appointed member of the direction of the protection of arts. In 1961 was one of the leading living artists who participated in the exhibition 150 years of Argentine art. Basaldúa made numerous artistic activities among which highlighted illustration of literary works; a prominent example is Faust edited by the friends of the art of Buenos Aires in 1932. He also illustrated numerous books of the major writers, such as Jorge Luis Borges, Manuel Mújica Láinez, Silvina Ocampo, Ricardo Güiraldes and Francisco Luis Bernárdez.

Throughout his life received, in addition to those mentioned above, other numerous awards including: second mention in the lounge free fall (1925), his paintings (1935) national gold medal, Medal as production designer in the international exhibition of decorative arts of Paris (1935), third prize H. Rubinstein, first medal for painting in the twenty-first Hall of Rosario (1942)First medal of the national Salon of 1956 and the premio Palanza, the highest award that can receive an Argentine artist. His works are exhibited in museums all over the world as the modern art of New York and numerous international private collections.

JLGC.